Mitt Romney Picks Rep. Paul Ryan as Vice President Running Mate: Iowa Reacts
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has made Wiconsin Representative Paul Ryan his vice presidential choice. The Iowa GOP says Ryan will tour the Iowa State Fair on Monday.
UPDATED: 4:21 p.m.
Newly picked GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan will tour the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Monday with Gov. Terry Branstad as his guide.
Branstad said during a live Fox News interview that he would hit the fairgrounds with the Wisconsin Republican, according to the Des Moines Register. Last August the fair was a frequent stop for GOP presidential candidates in the days leading up to the Iowa Straw Poll.
The Register says a digital billboard at the Republican Party of Iowa booth at the fair is running this message Saturday afternoon: “Join our next Vice President Paul Ryan here at the Iowa State Fair Monday morning! Be here when the gates open at 9 a.m.! #RomneyRyan2012.”
GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has chosen Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate.
His campaign announced the pick Saturday morning, dubbing the two "America's Comeback Team."
The group Progress Iowa, which has protested Ryan's budget plans, released this statement:
After years of pushing their far-right agenda, extreme conservatives have their dream candidate for Vice President, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, author of the Romney/Ryan Budget. Unfortunately, the Romney/Ryan Budget would be more like a nightmare for Iowa. Here are just a few of the highlights from a plan Iowa simply cannot afford:
- Ends Medicare as we know it for more than 500,000 seniors and Iowans with disabilities
- Cuts funding for education, including millions in Head Start and special education for Iowa schools
- More than 60,000 Iowa seniors would face rising drug prices by being forced back into the prescription drug donut hole
- More than 400,000 Iowa seniors would be faced to pay more for preventive health services
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said on Twitter: "This was a bold choice. @RepPaulRyan is a bright, young articulate guy...It's going to be a clear choice."
Branstad's second tweet on Ryan said: "I think @RepPaulRyan will be an energizing factor in the whole upper Midwest."
Sen. Chuck Grassley tweeted: "I'm very happy w Ryan as VP nominee he is an intellectual heavyweight most important he advocates well fiscal conservatism"
Reaction from Family Leader Event
Prominent Republicans -- including former GOP presidential candidates Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, former Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Sen. Rick Santorum -- are in Waukee today for the Family Leader's summit.
Perry said in Iowa of the Ryan selection, "It's a historic day. We woke up this morning with a little inkling that it was going to be a historic day, and sure enough. I was totally struck by (what) Paul Ryan said today when it was announced. He said that our rights come from nature, and God, but not the government. It's good to be surrounded by people who understand that."
Santorum, who won the Iowa Caucuses in January, told the summit audience, "I'm very excited about the announcement by Mitt Romney to select Paul Ryan as his running mate. I know Paul well. He is absolutely a conviction conservative. He is someone who not only votes the right way, but someone who understands the basic foundational values of our country."
Ryan Tears Into Obama's Record
Ryan said the nation under Obama's leadership is struggling through the "worst economic recovery in 70 years," reports the Huffington Post.
"No one disputes President Obama inherited a difficult situation," Ryan said. "And, in his first two years, with his party in complete control of Washington, he passed nearly every item on his agenda. But that didn't make things better."
The Huffington Post said Romney selected the 42-year-old Ryan, a seven-term congressman, from a short list that included Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.
Ryan is the architect of a conservative and intensely controversial long-term budget plan to remake Medicare and cut trillions in federal spending, the website said.
Branstad's spokesman, Tim Albrecht of West Des Moines, told the Des Moines Register: “Paul Ryan is a great pick. Young people see bleak economic prospects and long-term debt, and they will gravitate around his message of economic opportunity and budget stability.”
Eric Woolson of West Des Moines, who was the communications director for Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign in Iowa, said: "Congressman Ryan is an outstanding choice that underscores Governor Romney's determination to address and fix the nation's problems. Paul Ryan has proven to be a bold, realistic leader. He's young, but extraordinarily experienced. He brings gravitas to an already strong ticket. I'm very excited about his selection."
Romney's campaign also released a biography of Ryan. Here are some of the facts:
- Ryan is in his seventh term in Congress representing Wisconsin’s 1st District.
- He is Chairman of the House Budget Committee.
- He also serves on the House Ways and Means Committee.
- Ryan, 42, is married to Janna Little. They have three children and live in Janesville, Wisconsin.
- Prior to running for Congress, Ryan served as an aide to Republican Senators Robert Kasten Jr. and Sam Brownback, former U.S. Rep. and Vice Presidential Candidate Jack Kemp, and as a speechwriter for Education Secretary William Bennett.
- Ryan is a graduate of Joseph A. Craig High School in Janesville and earned degrees in economics and political science from Miami University in Ohio.
Iowa Republican Party Approves
The Republican Party of Iowa released the following statement from Iowa GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker of Ames on Congressman Ryan's pick for vice president:
"I congratulate our neighbor Congressman Paul Ryan on being selected by Governor Romney to be America's next Vice President. America is currently facing a spending crisis that threatens the future prosperity of our children and grandchildren and Iowans are ready for real solutions- not empty rhetoric. Congressman Ryan has shown the leadership necessary to get our nation back on track and I am confident he will serve the people of Iowa well as the next Vice President. "
Obama Campaign Response
Obama for America Campaign Manager Jim Messina released the following statement in response to Ryan's selection:
“In naming Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has chosen a leader of the House Republicans who shares his commitment to the flawed theory that new budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy, while placing greater burdens on the middle class and seniors, will somehow deliver a stronger economy. The architect of the radical Republican House budget, Ryan, like Romney, proposed an additional $250,000 tax cut for millionaires, and deep cuts in education from Head Start to college aid. His plan also would end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars in health care costs to seniors. As a member of Congress, Ryan rubber-stamped the reckless Bush economic policies that exploded our deficit and crashed our economy. Now the Romney-Ryan ticket would take us back by repeating the same, catastrophic mistakes.”